Farmers Mutual Telephone Co. recently bought an industrial 3D printer and demonstrated its potential to improve cost efficiencies for projects involving fiber optics in Iowa. FMTC CEO Kevin Cabbage said the firm printed two homes in Virginia with a concrete mixture, and bringing those capabilities to Iowa is a long-term goal.



(Stanton) — A small southwestern Iowa community has acquired a peek into the possible future of housing development.Farmers Mutual Telephone Company in Stanton recently obtained a large, new industrial 3D Printer, which operators recently showcased to area mayors, city officials, and economic development representatives late last week.

FMTC CEO Kevin Cabbage tells KMA News the printer found its way to Stanton after his company assisted in creating a start-up company, Alquist 3D. He adds the company has already printed two homes using a concrete mixture in Virginia. Cabbage says one of the long-term goals is to bring that capability of printing houses to Iowa.

“We don’t have a definite timeline in mind because we want to prove this out here if Iowa and get all the techniques and procedures in place before we commit to printing a home,” said Cabbage. “But that is definitely on our radar screen to do as soon as we are ready.

As a minority owner of the printing company, Cabbage says they had the opportunity to bring the printer to Iowa in hopes of seeing how the construction material operates in the environment. Thus, he adds that FMTC has hired an individual to manage the printer.

“How it operates but more importantly working with the actual concrete mixture itself, because it is a different type on concrete mixture,” said Cabbage. “But yet it is still concrete and everything concrete does in our environment.”